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Willow ran home from school as fast as she could. If she was quick enough, she would be able to spend some time in her favorite place in the world, the forest. The feeling she got there was almost impossible to describe. The only way to understand is if she were in the woods that very second. She just needed to arrive before 3:15 pm, so she could spend at least 20 minutes there.

Luckily, by the time Willow arrived and caught her breath, it was ten after 3. She started to walk in and sniff the natural air. The sound of rustling leaves emanated from everywhere, and along with the swirling wind, refreshing aroma, and so much more, the forest was a very mystical place. Every once in a while, Willow heard the song of robins and hummingbirds, and fell under the spell of the woods.

Then, shock and fear broke her trance when Willow heard a wolf cry in agony. Luckily, her adrenaline kicked in, and time seemed to slow down as she swiftly pinpointed the general direction of the howl. With even faster speed than when she was running to the forest, Willow sprinted toward the wolf’s direction. She almost ran too far, until the wolf yelped once more, and brought her to the proper location.

Willow had finally arrived, and what she saw was miserable. An adult wolf limped on its side, an animal trap on its back left paw, its head near another. After looking a little more closely, Willow determined that it was a female, and then noticed the pups whimpering around her. To the left of the wolf was a tree with a note saying on it, the woods are becoming overpopulated with predators, so we’re taking action. Beware of traps.

Willow, still shocked, started to look around, and saw camouflaged traps on and in trees, in grass, and small caves and crevices. In the distance, there were also rabbits, birds, mice, and more critters with “bear traps” gripped onto them. The woods was a vast place. If Willow were to remove all of the traps, she would have to do it in half an hour, if she were to arrive home on time, and that obviously wasn’t possible.

Then Willow glanced at the wolf, still livid at the hunters, and she subconsciously started talking to the wolf. “Can you understand me?” Willow asked the wolf, and she nodded. “Then please help me. Can you try to activate as many traps as possible with sticks, and get your wolf cubs to warn the other animals?” If the cubs couldn’t communicate, then they could at least frighten the wildlife off the ground. Immediately the wolf picked up a stick with his mouth and almost tossed it, and it fell onto one of the traps. It activated, and the wolf set off to do more.

Meanwhile, the cubs started running off and yipping as loudly as they could muster. That was probably Willow’s cue to get a move on too. She went the opposite direction of the wolf and mainly focused on the tree traps, while also taking on any other traps in her path.

Willow tried to become one with the forest again, but she felt as if the woods wouldn’t be itself unless the animals lived their normal lives as well. She then became entangled in her own thoughts and removing the traps, until a bear broke her out.

It was a gigantic grizzly, standing tall and ready to feast. Willow’s sight focused on only the bear, and she was beginning to freeze up. Right before she could get slashed, she remembered how many creatures would get harmed if she didn’t remove all artificial ploys. That just sparked an idea: if Willow was fast enough, she could lure the grizzly to a trap, and in the process, remove a trap. Willow spurted into action. Oh, why had she removed every trap in the premises. She had to run a long distance, weaving through the trees, and ducking under obstacles to confuse the bear. When she was about to fall down, she found a trap and jumped over it. Unfortunately for the bear, its foot got stuck and it fell. Thankfully, for nature’s sake, the bear wasn’t badly injured.

Willow checked her watch, thinking it was around 3:30, but when she lifted her hand, the watch showed it was 3:50. She should’ve been out of the woods 15 minutes ago, even without the issue of being deep in the forest with no idea how to get home! Tense thoughts spurred into Willows head. How far deep am I? Which direction is home? After a lot of similar thoughts, Willow thought to look in every direction. There were many twists and turns of open and closed passages. The sun was beginning to set, and the wind shot her back. Willow turned around to face that wind, and stared at the bear.

The bear was facing away from her, unconscious, and it only would’ve faced that direction for one reason. Willow removed the trap from the bear cautiously, and sprinted the opposite direction. How obscure, her compass home happened to be the biggest danger to come to her in the forest.

Willow had finally returned to the wood’s entrance. Her two thoughts fought back and forth; stay and rid all traps, or go home and be free to come back here. She was about to go back and protect, but then she saw the wolf with a stick in her mouth, followed by hawks, wild cats, eagles, other wolves, and other animals Willow couldn’t see carrying even more sticks. “Are you all going to risk yourselves to protect the woods?” Willow wondered aloud, astounded.

The wolf nodded, as to say, it’s either us, or those weaker.

Willow smiled her thanks, then rushed home like she never had before. She sprinted fast enough so that she barely made it home on time and saved the forest, with help of course.




Willow was happy once again to reach the forest, and now she had more reason than to sit down and observe. She made a friend with that wolf, who she now called Hero, and ran with all of the creatures around her. Her life was as happy as possible at that moment, and she felt prepared for all of life’s obstacles.




When faced with life’s challenges, always look at every angle, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.